THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The new LDF council will assume power at Thiruvananthapuram Corporation council on Monday. According to sources, the independent candidate who won at Poonthura division has extended his support to the LDF. But, it is not going to be an easy task for the Front to bring a council dominated by freshers and youngsters to full action
The local body election was seemingly a cake walk for the LDF in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, having secured 53 seats, including the one independent candidate who has now jumped on the bandwagon. But, plenty of challenges await the council that comprises women, youngsters and first timers. The most important of them would be clearing many projects lying in limbo for many years now.The deadline for completion of many projects taken up by the corporation is nearing. This means that the new council will have to work to ensure a time-bound completion of these crucial developmental projects.
However, the new council will enjoy the advantage of having a clear majority, unlike the last term when it had to rule without a clear majority. According to former mayor and current MLA V K Prasanth, the incumbent council did all the spade work and the new council can start from where they left off. He claimed that most of the development projects pursued by the previous council is in the execution stage.
“We have set a clear roadmap for the new council to carry out their responsibilities. The biggest roadblock we faced was delay in pushing paperwork through. Now that all the backend work is done, the LDF council can focus on execution,” said VK Prasanth.
Palayam Rajan, a senior member of the council and the town planning standing committee of the incumbent council said that the priority of the new leading front should be the implementation of the long-pending draft city master plan. “The document is crucial for the planned overall development of the state capital,” said Rajan, who won from Palayam division.
He added that the council has many young, possibly inexperienced faces, but it will not be a problem as long as they are educated and well-informed. “LDF leadership will provide them special training apart from sessions by KILA (Kerala Institute of Local Administration). All young councillors are very bright and committed citizens who understand their duty well,” said Rajan.
Time to get serious!
Decentralised waste management project worth C46 crore
Ensuring the execution of the C46-crore decentralised waste management project is going to be a major challenge for the new council. It is being implemented using state and Centre funds that will expire six months. It is learnt that the previous council hardly claimed C4 crore from the pool. According to sources, the civic body couldn’t claim more money because of the withdrawal cap imposed on the state treasury by a fund-strapped state government. “Almost 35 per cent of the total fund utilised came from the Centre, while the state government shelled out 23.3 per cent. The civic body was to source 42.5 per cent from its budgetary allocations or plan fund. Many of the projects are under way and the new council will have to claim more funds and ensure they don’t lapse,” said an official of the Suchitwa Mission.
Highlights of the waste management project
Distribution of bio compost bins to households
- 75,000 bins worth C13.5 crore
- Around 15,000 already distributed
Mobile material recovery facility worth D1.30 cr
Portable aerobic bins worth D2 cr
Animal crematorium worth D1 cr
Biogas plants - D3 cr
12 Resource Recovery Facilities worth D7 cr
Smart City has its hands full
The Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Ltd (SCTL) has tendered as many as 43 development projects under its fold. Now, its biggest challenge would be to ensure the completion of these plans and ensuring the state capital becomes the best performing city in the country. The deadline for completion of many of the projects will end in 2022 and failure in implementing them would lapse funds up to C1,538 crore.
Palayam Connemara Project awaits push
Though the SCTL has kicked off the ambitious C112-crore project to renovate Palayam Connemara Market, the long-pending plan is yet to get moving. According to sources, SCTL is yet to enter into an agreement with the Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority (Trida). The plan is to complete the project — that will also rehabilitate around 450 traders who would be displaced to facilitate the construction activities — by 2023. An official associated with its execution said that there needs to be more clarity on the agreement with Trida. The previous council launched the project without finalising the terms.
Rajaji Nagar Redevelopment
The redevelopment of Rajaji Nagar Colony popularly known as Chengalchoola would be one of the most challenging projects before the new council. The C61.42-crore revamp project aims to rehabilitate around 248 families. According to SCTL officials, without the intervention of the new council, the project will never be a reality. The master plan proposed by SCTL recommends executing the project in three phases, addressing all prevailing issues. During Phase I, SCTL is planning to construct 249 housing units in 2.81 acres of land. “Without a strong political leadership, it would be impossible to stick to the timeline,” said an official associated with the project.